flexitarian diet help
Hello I have in the last month to two months switching my diet to a more vegetable based diet. I have switch to a flexitarian diet ( yes I still meat so please do not rage at me) I have gotten to where I only eat meat once a day on work days and none on my days off. My main concern is eating a balanced diet. I have had trouble with finding quick recipes for one that taste good so any suggestions. Also too I have trouble staying full.
My quick, easy, cheap, healthy, balanced go-to recipe for one is stir fry. Though, I usually make a big batch and eat the leftovers for breakfast, lunch, or dinner the for the next day, week, month. brocolli, bean sprouts, tofu, tempeh, onions, mushrooms, garlic, yum, yum, yum. Try browsing the recipes on the site-- I believe there's a section of recipes for one, though I may be mistaken (it's been awhile so I've cooked).
If you have trouble staying full, space your eating out over the day; snack on fruit or nuts between meals. A handful of nuts is full of energy and satisfying. If you have to watch your weight, remember to figure in these "snacks" as part of your total intake. Eating every 2-3 hrs should stop the constant hungries. Choose wholegrain flours, pasta and rice over their white (bleached and nutritionless) counterparts.
Also lean heavily on our friends the beans and legumes for your main meals. Lentils and beans are very versatile and can be used in hundreds of delicious ways; and they provide long-lasting energy as well as being filling and tasty. Beans and rice served in various ways are always your best friends; hummus used as a dip for veggies or on bread as a sandwich spread or in a wrap or...
eat enough calories and eat nutritionally dense foods (fruits, veggies).
I also have been eating this way for several months (though I only eat meat 1-2x wk...usually only when I go to people's houses and they make it for me and dairy or eggs almost daily though I will trial a 100% vegan diet in January).
My husband and I both find we need to calorie load in the AM: very hearty breakfast. Just oatmeal won't cut it. We snack on nuts a lot, high fiber fruit like apples, etc. Beans/lentils daily are super-foods and the fiber and protein in them keeps me full. Eating healthy, high calorie/protein/fiber plant foods early in the day means we feel perfectly fine having something simple and low protein like brown rice and vegetables for dinner.
I think I may try adding a hemp seed smoothie for an AM snack for days we don't have eggs we are starving again in a couple hours (yes even with whole grains, nuts/nut butter, etc at breakfast). I want to avoid both whey protein and isolated plant protein powders (and to stop eating so many eggs), just 3 TBLSP of hemp seed blended with fruit and water is yummy and provides 11 grams of protein.
I'm a fan of romaine hearts and baby spinach leaves. They're prewashed and easy to cut. I slice the romaine head and then give a it couple of chops in the other directions. Some beans (I'm lazy, so usually canned), grape tomatoes sliced in half, etc. and I have a huge meal that's packed with nutrients. To make it a bit sinful, you could sprinkle a bit of Daiya over it.
A lot of veggies will keep for a week chopped. I'll get bell pepper and things, prep them all at once, and then they're easy to grab for a fresh salad or soup. I also make a pot of grains or lentils or whatnot all at once and then freeze them in 1-cup capacity snack bags.
To make things fast, the basic idea I use is to have the basic components ready to go that you can combine any way you want for what you feel like. I don't make "recipes", like casseroles, though. My approach is to combine whole foods in whatever way sounds good at the time.
eta: This is a no-waste system. Save your peelings in a container or zip lock bag and put them in the freezer. When it's full, use the scraps to make veggie broth. When your veggies start to look a bit withered, make soup - that includes any dark leafy greens, too.